There are numerous health and safety challenges that can be found on an In Situ Thermal Remediation (ISTR) site. From performing health risk assessments for hazardous chemicals to identifying and correcting on-site physical hazards or working with and managing a variety of subcontractors, there is an extensive list of safety and regulatory concerns that need to be addressed. Managing these concerns can often appear to be a daunting task, but with a practical, risk-based safety management approach, ISTR can be performed safely, as well as effectively.
At TerraTherm, our strong safety management system begins with a commitment to safe work practices from everyone in the company – from Senior Management to our Field Services team. For this to work, we rely on management to provide the resources (time, finances, personnel, etc.) and the employees to buy into our safe approach to all aspects of our projects. In order to get everyone on the same page, we make sure that all employees have a voice when it comes to safety. Between the Safety Committee, the Safety Star incentive program and a variety of health and safety training programs, there is no shortage of opportunities to get involved and make an impact on employee safety.
Affording our employees the appropriate training to perform their jobs is an integral part of maintaining a safe work-site. In addition to Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) training and other mandated compliance training, our employees have the opportunity to participate in a variety of other programs such as ergonomics, heat and cold stress, and first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) training. If we expect our people to perform their jobs the right way, and the safe way, then we need to ensure that they have the knowledge and the tools to succeed.
Once we have everyone’s commitment to a positive safety culture and each employee has the appropriate training and knowledge to do their job, it becomes easier to manage to the hazards we come across on site. We are continuously evaluating our job sites and making improvements to them whenever opportunities present themselves. Each project has a Site Safety Officer (SSO) who has the experience, qualifications and authority to identify and correct hazards on site. In addition to leading safety meetings on a daily basis, the SSOs conduct frequent formal site safety inspections to identify potential safety risks, and with support from the Corporate Safety & Compliance Manager (CSCM), corrective actions are developed and implemented. To supplement our efforts to keep each of our projects safe and compliant, the CSCM performs quarterly safety and health audits with the help of the project team.
TerraTherm has maintained an excellent safety record for the fifteen years over which the company has been in business. In order to sustain that record, it is important to continuously take a step back and evaluate our approach. Our policies, training programs, hazard analyses and overall safety management system are evaluated and updated on a regular basis. In addition, new goals and objectives are developed annually in order to ensure that we are always striving for continuous improvement.
By utilizing this approach, and cultivating a safety-conscious culture, it is proven that even our most challenging sites can be managed safely and effectively.